ENDEAVOUR - With the closure of the Endeavour Store, which has been a main staple in the community since 1963, the community has been dealt with another blow that adds to the growing list of concerns.
In December of 2021, Carol Walters made the difficult decision to close the store after 15 years of owning it. “It has been a very bittersweet ending that has me very emotional,” said Walters. “I have always wanted to own a store and when the opportunity came up in 2006, I told my husband Garry that we were buying a store. He just gave me this funny look and said ‘lets do this.’ We did some research with financial lending institutes and finally found a company known as Ventures, who gave us the loan and we became the proud owners of the Endeavour Store.”
Carol worked previously at Raymond and Gaylene Cook’s mink pelt ranch for three months before she found out that she was pregnant with her daughter. She continued to work at the Century House in Preeceville for six months, and sold Avon for many years. She and her husband Garry have lived in the village of Endeavour for many years and had raised cattle through the years before selling out after Garry’s knee surgery made it impossible for him to continue farming.
Over the years there have been many challenges that the store has seen from change of owners, to renovations, and to change of food chains. The store was originally under the chain of McDonalds Consolidated, then changed to Safeway and in the end was a Sobeys food chain.
The biggest change, in the end, was the lack of support from the local and surrounding areas. “My costs to bring in and maintain stock and inventory got to be too high and with not having to order as much, my stock got very depleted and I found myself with a difficult decision to make. It was not easy, as the store was my baby and with losing the store and my husband, it has been a very difficult time for me. We still own and operated the Pioneer Hotel in Endeavour and we keep busy with the bar,” said Walters.
The couple purchased the bar in 2014 and had operated both the store and the bar for a period of time.
The Endeavour Store was originally built by Tony and Kate Greba who owned and operated it for 40 years before selling out to Jim and Ella Smith who also operated it for 40 years prior to being sold to Louis Robuck, who operated it for a few years then ownership changed once again to Derick Palagian before Walters bought it in 2006.
“The store will be sadly missed by the community as there was never a time that it was actually shut down,” stated Endeavour Mayor Brad Romanchuk. “In its prime, I can remember the store as a very busy integrated part of the community. I had my first milkshake there and enjoyed going to the store as a child. It is worrisome that with another business shut down our community is on a downward slope and we remain hopeful that someone will purchase it and reopen it.”